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Frank Wouters

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 Energy Transition

Frank Wouters is Senior Vice President New Energy at Reliance Industries Limited, Director of the EUGCC Clean Energy Technology Network and Fellow at Payne Institute for Public Policy. He formerly acted as Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). After working on the energy transition for 30 years in various leadership roles, he is currently focusing on hydrogen projects.

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Frank Wouters

Speed, the forgotten cost reduction factor in the energy transition

To keep global warming below 1.5 °C, our energy systems need to be carbon emission free latest by 2050, and many countries have pledged to do so. A high-level model was built for a fictitious economy called Utopia to assess three pathways towards a zero-carbon economy by 2050: a gradual (linear) replacement of fossil fuels by clean energy, an accelerated pathway leading to a carbon free system by 2035, and a delayed pathway, in which replacement takes place from 2035 onwards. The model yields very clear results. The accelerated pathway is not only 21% cheaper than a gradual phasing out of fossil fuels, with accumulated savings of $4 trillion over a period of 30 years, but also the climate wins, with emissions reducing from 32.7 GT to 13.1 GT over the same period.

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